We finally have a confirmation and release date from a major carrier in the United States, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 will be available on May 1. We looked at current prices to try to figure the best deals from T-Mobile to its top current rated models vs buying an unlocked phone directly. A full comparison chart appears at the end.
At the T-Mobile Un-Carrier event, today, CEO revealed new T-Mobile plans without smartphone subsidies and that they will start selling the Samsung Galaxy S 4 on May 1. T-Mobile will also be launching LTE data service.
When the Samsung Galaxy S III was released, last year, T-Mobile was one of the first carriers to offer it. Currently the Samsung Galaxy S III from T-Mobile costs $109.99 and 24 payments of $20 a month which the company calls 0% APR on approved credit to total $589.99. To buy the Samsung Galaxy S III without a contract from T-Mobile costs $599.99, These prices are inline with unlocked Samsung Galaxy S III models for sale elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the Nexus 4 is a better deal if you can buy one unlocked because the 16GB Nexus 4 with no contract but with $50 of prepaid service is $507.99. Or you can buy a Nexus 4 for $49.99 and S17.o0 a month for 24 months totalling $457.00.
The unlocked and contract free 8GB Nexus 4 directly from Google is $299 plus tax and shipping. The 16GB Nexus 4 from Google directly is $349. The Nexus 4 data is not LTE which the Samsung Galaxy S 4 will support. The price for an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S4 in the UK is reportedly £530 which is about $800 similar to the price of the Samsung Galaxy S III when it was released. We suspect that the Samsung Galaxy S 4 will either cost more than the Samsung Galaxy S III at release and be reduced later or the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be priced higher than the S3.
The Nexus 4 is closes in specs to the Samsung Galaxy S III a slighter smaller screen but with more pixels per inch. The cameras are both 8MP while the processor on the Nexus 4 is slightly faster. The major differences between the Samsung Galaxy S III and Nexus 4 are that the Nexus 4 lacks an HDMI port, has the latest version of Android, lacks a microSD slot and 2GB of RAM. The Samsung Galaxy S III can connect to HDMI with an MHL, runs Android 4.1 with many Samsung software options, has a microUSB slot and 1GB of RAM. Read Samsung Galaxy S III review vs Nexus 4 review.
The Samsung Galaxy S 4 which is two months away from being on sale has a larger screen (5"), faster processor (almost twice as fast), 12MP camera and many software enhancements. According to the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 4 sign-up page a "qualifying rate plan required for LTE" which we infer to mean that the S 4 will have LTE on T-Mobile.
The new T-Mobile plans start with one line at $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and Web with 500MB of high-speed data. Customers can add a second phone line for $30 per month, and each additional line is just $10 per month. They can also add 2 GB of high-speed data for $10 per month more per line. Unlimited 4G data is $20 more per month per line.
T-Mobile has priced it's smartphones inline with other carriers. If you are a power user and learn that you are in an LTE market you may want to wait two months, because LTE is very fast.
The nice thing about T-Mobile's un-carrier non-contract plans is that if you own a phone, you don't have to worry about a contract for two years, but once you agree to the 0% interest plan, you are indebted for two years.
The iPhone 5 will go on sale April and since we can only fit three models on our famous "dare 2 compare chart." We will compare the iPhone later when learn what data networks it will work with on the T-Mobile network.